[DWJ] Georgette Heyer (also "what this list has given me")

Minnow minnow at belfry.org.uk
Sun Jan 6 09:22:18 EST 2008

Alayne wrote:

>NOT Cousin Kate. NOT My Lord John. NOT any of the mysteries or any of her
>early novels like Pastel. I personally love The Great Roxhythe, but this
>taste is not shared by many, so I'd be wary of recommending it.

As a Heyer I wouldn't, as a book I might.  It is atypical to a degree,
along with *Penhallow*, which is another that goes outside her usual run.

>Aside from that, you need to decide if you prefer the romance in Heyer or
>the comedy of manners. If the latter, you will love A Civil Contract, The
>Reluctant Widow, The Masqueraders, The Foundling, Faro's Daughter, Black
>Sheep; if the former, you may not like them as much. The romance readers,
>OTOH, will probably like Arabella, April Lady, Friday's Child, Regency
>Buck, and These Old Shades to a greater extent.

Over a long career she moved from action-adventure things to
thought-centred, to a great extent.  The romance was there all along, but
it is a different sort of romance.  I mean, she started writing in her late
teens and died in her seventies, writing all the time, and of course her
own feelings must have changed over fifty years or so!

I tell you what, I'll put up a table  of what she wrote when, and anyone
who wants it can take it away and keep it and anyone who can't be doing
with her can ignore it!  :-)

>You also have to decide what your comfort level is with non-modern
>language. Powder and Patch or The Masqueraders or These Old Shades are
>more "affected" than some of the later Regencies, although Heyer does have
>a quite distinctive vocabulary.

How old she was when she wrote them makes a lot of difference to the
language she uses.  They get less forsoothly as she got older and (I think)
became better at writing.   She grew out of having everyone's speech
littered with em-dashes after a bit, too, and that's a great relief.

>On the other hand, just about everyone likes Venetia or Cotillion or The
>Toll-Gate or Frederica, and they really are well-written.

Here here!

>As far as sequels, you should read These Old Shades, Devil's Cub, and An
>Infamous Army in that order. The rest can be read in any order.

One can ignore the connection between the first two and *An Infamous Army*,
which hardly matters, but TOS and DC do need to be read in order, I agree.


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